Perth City Council knocks back formal name change for ‘Pride Piazza’

Perth City Council has knocked back a proposal to permanently rename the Northbridge Piazza the Pride Piazza.

The space is the location where many members of Perth’s LGBTIQA+ community gathered in 2017 to hear the result of the national postal survey on marriage equality, and the council recently leased the building at the Piazza to Pride WA.

When it was announced that Pride WA would take up residence at the Piazza Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas referred to the space as the Pride Piazza.

“The City’s Pride Piazza reaffirms Perth as a national leader for celebrating and championing diversity and inclusion and I can’t think of a better, more vibrant neighborhood for Pride WA to call home.” the Lord Mayor said. The name was repeated at the opening of the 2022 PrideFEST where Zempalis said the space was now known by the Perth community at “Pride Piazza”.

While the council has regularly referred to the space as the Pride Piazza in their marketing materials, the name change is not official.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting Councillor Sandy Anghie put forward a proposal to officially rename the space, but it was knocked back with three councillors voicing support and five voting against the idea.

Councillor Brent Fleeton viced his opposition to the proposal saying it was completely an utterly unnecessary.

“And of all the things we should be spending time on debating in this chamber, I mean – really and truly – if we’re trying to hint to rate payers that we’ve lost sight of what really matters this is an awesome way of going about it.

“This is completely and utterly unnecessary.” Councillor Fleeton said. “and it’s also counter to the theme of being inclusive. All of the attributes and developments we’ve made as a city over the past two and a bit years together and the wonderful results from the investment that rate payers made into the Pride Parade is testament to that because, guess what – it happened when it wasn’t called the Pride Piazza.”

“I also don’t like the connotation that I’ve felt through this debate that if we don’t do this we’re somehow un-supportive of the Pride community. It’s almost as if we don’t rename the City of Perth to the City of Pride the entire city is also being divisive.”

Councillor Fleeton said rate payers are missing out on having use of the building in the piazza because it had been given to Pride WA in a peppercorn lease for a long period, and while the city had developed an extensive LGBTIQA+ plan, renaming the piazza was not one of it’s recommendations.

Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas also voiced his opposition to the proposal saying he supported the nickname ‘Pride Piazza’ he was not in favour of a permanent name change. The Lord Mayor listed a long list of achievement that the council had achieved in recent years.

The proposal was supported was Deputy Lord Mayor Liam Gobbert, Councillors Sandy Anghie and Dr Viktor Ko, but knocked back by Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas, and Councillors Di Bain, Rebecca Gordon, Brent Fleeton and Di Bain.

Earlier during the meeting Pride WA CEO had addressed the council and spoke about how the piazza had been the location of many events during the recent PrideFEST and people had reported feeling more safe in Northbridge than in previous years.

Choon Tan said the LGBTIQA+ community had been a part of the Northbridge community for many decades but for many decades had been hidden behind nightclub doors. Choon said the council had the opportunity to make a public space that acknowledge the LGBTIQA+ community similar to those found in other cities.

OIP Staff

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